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Founders Factory poaches Ogilvy & Mather’s innovation exec Godfrey

Founders Factory poaches Ogilvy & Mather’s innovation exec Godfrey.

Start-up incubator Founders Factory has poached Ogilvy & Mather’s experience director Will Godfrey to help it create entirely new tech businesses from scratch.

He joins as product manager, and is the first major hire of Founders Factory’s planned recruitment drive for 2017. As such, his role is a new one, one it hopes quickens its bid to create 200 new British start-ups by 2021 by nurturing entrepreneurs through its “incubator” and then helping them scale through its “accelerator”.

Godfrey will report to Founders Factory’s head of product Justus Brown, who described his latest team member as an “exceptional new hire, with experience in media, fintech and travel; all of which are sectors we operate within here at Founders Factory”.

“The team and our corporate investors alike are incredibly excited for him to join,” said Brown.

Godfrey spent three years at Ogilvy & Mather and most recently helped the creative shop form its dedicated artificial intelligence offer last year. Having already helped pitched the offer to clients, he leaves behind a division that helps put conversational interaction at the forefront of brand marketing, with early discussions having already explored its CRM potential.

His new employer was set up by co-founder Brent Hoberman and is backed by several corporate investors, among them are L’Oreal, Aviva and the Guardian.

Each start-up on its six-month cohort is given up to £200,000 worth of support in what is a tailored mentoring scheme, alongside £30,000 of growth capital to get ventures off the ground.

In return, Founders Factory secures a 7% stake in the businesses, while those it forms from scratch, which is what Godfrey is tasked with, will be owned outright, though it will then offer a share of that equity to the start-up’s management team.